In Memory of Afton Bjork Ostrom

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Dear Friends and Family,

Bjork and I are proud to introduce our perfect baby boy, Afton Bjork Ostrom, who was born on December 31, 2016 at 2:25pm weighing just 1lb 3oz, and who left this world peacefully, laying skin-to-skin in the arms of his mommy and daddy, surrounded by love and comfort in the early morning hours of January 1, 2017.

In our deep grief, we are so full of awe and wonder for having had the chance to experience just a tiny taste of his precious sweetness this side of heaven. We got to truly fall in love with what it means to be his parents – to feel his heartbeat skin-to-skin against our chest, to touch all his fingers and toes, to soak up his smell, to give him a bath, to be able to kiss his sweet, perfect face, to read him a bedtime story, and to whisper lullabies into his tiny little ears so he could hear and know our voices.

These all too fleeting moments we had with him are also making the ache of losing him feel all the more raw and visceral. We experienced a taste of what it was like to love him, but we so badly wanted a lifetime. It's a depth of loss that we've never known – where something so tangibly a part of you is suddenly gone, and you can feel the searing hole right there in your own body. It's our honor to wear that deep scar as the evidence that he was here and he was loved, and we'll carry that ache with us every day for the rest of our lives until we meet him again someday.

This experience has given us a profound appreciation for the meaning of family. We know that there are many others, both here and around the world, whose families have also been broken by tragedy.

We hope to honor Afton's memory by pouring into the lives of hurting children who don't have families of their own to care for them. Bjork and I lived and worked at the Children's Shelter of Cebu orphanage for one year and saw firsthand the loving and lifesaving ways that children are cared for in times when they are most vulnerable.

Thank you for being a family to these children with us, and for doing so in memory of our precious son Afton.

Bjork, Lindsay and Afton